If you are in the stage of life that might be called pre-parenthood, you may find this to be useful information because time is a precious commodity and as much as you may think you are aware of that now, be assured that it will be your reality once you have your baby at home full time.
In an ideal situation, the first number of months involve you sleeping when the baby sleeps and baby wearing with a wrap system whenever possible to get the things done that need doing — dishes, cleaning, etc. Chaim Yosef would sometimes even take naps while I wore him and did the dishes.
Let us skip ahead to toddler years, where I am currently situated with my wife. On a typical Sunday, I will wake up at six forty five to spend about an hour on the phone with a partner in learning. We learned the hard way that it was no longer possible to learn by phone once Chaim Yosef was up as he wanted me off the phone. I go to the local synagogue at eight and return by nine, in time to greet his smiling face. I ask him what he wants for breakfast and prepare it but also do the dishes that may be there from Shabbos at the same time. This is key — try doing dishes while you wait for food to cook. When your child pokes a head up and looks restless or upset that you’re not entertaining them, you can explain what you are doing and maybe get some education in there as well. I speak only Romanian to Chaim Yosef so this helps with his Romanian skill set.
Television — if your child will be anything like ours is, you can almost forget about watching a full show uninterrupted while they are awake. Thank G-d for the DVR. Sometimes when Chaim gets a bit wild I threaten to put on Perry Mason and leave the room and for some reason that usually does the trick.
Movies — get a babysitter, or take turns going with friends. Do not take a toddler to the movie theater under any circumstance that doesn’t involve you somehow being entirely alone in that theater. You still may miss most of the movie. See television above.
Nookie — this is when it’s great to have friends who like to take your child out for lengthy walks. It’s that or you have to put the following thought out of your mind — the child may wake up screaming for no good reason mid-coitus. Sorry if I just put it in your mind.
Above all else, work with your partner. One person shouldn’t do all the dishes and cleaning while the other gets cuddle and tickling duties, unless one person is not only amazing at the cleaning but the other person regularly leaves dishes dirty and just excels at the cuddles and tickles. For the most part, duty sharing reins supreme.
The take away I hope to give you here is that any time you don’t have strictly focused on your child needs to be strictly structured. I wrote the entirety of this article on my iPhone, fighting every single goofy autocorrect suggestion along the way — while sitting on the train on my way to work! Much can be done while waiting in lines or other areas that seem like useless time sinks.